Mayor Don Iveson is thrilled with the $288 million the city now has from the federal provincial infrastructure program. A lot of the money will be used to do detailed plans for future LRT
“There are details we need to sort out about how we’re going to get from Blatchford to across the Yellowhead, up towards Greisbach, Castledowns and ultimately St. Albert. We’re going to study questions like should we go under or over 137 ave.”
He says the mistake they don’t want to repeat is how LRT ties up traffic.
Iveson said they’re also waiting to hear what Alberta is willing to contribute toward Building Canada Fund projects, worth $700 million for Alberta. When that funding was announced in February, cash was supposed to be fast-tracked. Edmonton is hoping it includes cash for upgrading Yellowhead Trail and grade separation for the tracks crossing 75 and 50 Street.
“The challenge around the provincial and territorial component and also the challenge around the Yellowhead remains how will the province match the federal government funding to move these projects ahead in the short term,” said Iveson.
“We’re working with the province to try to accommodate that. And I’m hopeful we’ll be able to get resolution of that. At this point we’re now talking about next construction season realistically, but if we can get that certainty now we can move ahead and make sure we don’t lose next construction season.”
That hold up is being noticed by opposition MPs. Edmonton-Riverbend’s Matt Jeneroux said he’s “happy to see progress being made, but still waiting to see the promised fast tracked $700 million by the Prime Minister from the New Building Canada Fund that was promised 7 months ago.” Jeneroux said the list of projects was provided in March. He’s upset, “we’ve now lost another construction season, which in Alberta and Edmonton are limited as the Federal Minister should know.”
Iveson was disappointed when the funding formula for this stimulus package had Alberta contributing 25%, less than the 33% traditionally expected. (sj/mw/km)